According to illegal Bayrak teleivision (18.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=spehar-holds-contacts-with-both-leaders), the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar met separately with both leaders today (Tuesday) to discuss future steps on the Cyprus Issue.
Spehar’s visit comes ahead of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s trip to New York next week where he is planned to meet with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the 29th of September. The UN Special Representative first met with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Later, Spehar met with Akinci. Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burch and Akinci’s advisor for political affairs and EU matters Erhan Ercin were also present at the meeting.
Speaking after the meeting which lasted for over an hour, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar said that she was meeting with both leaders ahead of the UN General Assembly. She pointed out that the Secretary General will be meeting separately with both leaders on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly. “These meetings are always a good opportunity in terms of seeing where we stand and to see where the process will head” she said, adding that the Cyprus Issue was going through an important phase.
Pointing out that there have been no negotiations for over a year now, the UN Special Representative said that the UN Security Council has expectations. “They are very clear that they want to see the signals of going back to the negotiating table. They would also like to see the movement of conditions conducive for a successful process in the form of confidence building measures and trust building. There will be a couple of reports coming out which the Security Council would like the Secretary General to provide to them with. They believe that these reports will give them some sense of what they could expect”, she added.
Spehar said that the Security Council would of course continue to support the leaders but added that they see it as the responsibility of the parties to take something forward.
Meanwhile, “BRT” (19.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-to-meet-leaders-of-political-parties) broadcast that Akinci will be meeting with leaders and representatives of political parties with “seats in the parliament” for consultations ahead of his contacts in NY next week, according to a press release by Akinci’s office.
According to the statement, Akinci will be meeting together with the leaders of the parties that form the “coalition government” for his routine monthly meeting. He will also be meeting with the leaders of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) and the Revival Party (YDP).
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot Daily Afrika newspaper (19.09.18) reports that the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan issued a written statement and strongly criticized the statements of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who said that Turkey will increase its troops in Cyprus.
Izcan said that the statements of Erdogan, at a time the efforts for the re-launching of the Cyprus negotiations are continuing, “is an example of the conquest and occupation behavior of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)”
Izcan went on and said that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved following this mentality and added that “waiting for a federal Cyprus from the government of Erdogan is like waiting for a dead person to cry”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper(19.09.18) reports that Asim Akansoy, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has assessed the statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who during his return flight from Azerbaijan, had said that Turkey would increase its occupation troops in Cyprus and it also might establish a naval base.
Speaking on Kibris Postasi TV, Akansoy argued that when politicians make statements, they usually have some aims. “I do not think that Erdogan has made an ordinary statement. I do not think that his aim was Cyprus only”, he claimed adding that Turkey faces internal problems and the issue of establishing a base in the occupied area of the island had been brought up by “certain circles”. He further alleged the following:
“This is not a statement made with the thought let me pour some gasoline on the existing fire. On the contrary, it was made in order to take the problems under control. In the international arena France has brought onto the agenda the establishment of a base in Larnaka. He may be giving an answer to them to a certain extent. We have seen many statements and assessments until today. This actually may show that there is a difference between the statements made by politicians to the public and the statements made in the meetings. The entire island of Cyprus is in the European Union. The EU will scream the place down, not only if you establish a base on the island but also if you built an apartment block in a protected area in Karpasia. […]”
Responding to a question, Akansoy said that the reason of CTP’s existence is to find a federal solution in Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot columnists assess today (19.09.18) the statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who during his return flight from Azerbaijan, had said that Turkey would increase its occupation troops in Cyprus and it also might establish a naval base.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper(19.09.18), columnist Serhat Incirli argues that no one knows the number of the Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus. Under the title “Exerting pressure on Turkey in the current situation is a baloney”, the columnist notes that some say that the number of the occupation troops is 40 thousands. “I do not think so”, he says and adds:
“The number of troops in Cyprus is not known. Only the commanders know the exact number. Under normal conditions you can reach the number of troops by saying that there are three divisions including the Security Forces (GKK), a brigade etc. However, there could be reduced, decreased units, just like they could be increased.
In brief, making a statement saying ‘we will not decrease the number of troops in Cyprus’ or that ‘we will increase it’ or saying that ‘we will withdraw a number’ has a political aim.
If we think of diplomacy as a kind of poker, perhaps this is not a staking of all the money, but you can accept it as a smile which aims at creating the climate that ‘I have good cards in my hand’.
Of course, diplomacy is not poker. Consequently, giving the message that ‘I will not withdraw troops, I will not reduce them, I will even increase them if I want to’, is tantamount to reminding of one’s power over the unsinkable airplane carrier and trying to become more influential on the possible sharing of the natural gas.
Moreover, reminding of the military presence is reminding that ‘there is a Cyprus issue which could not be solved for years’ and stressing the message that ‘I will solve it if I want’.
There are some messages which the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots should take from this statement. If we write it openly, the messages which we should take are the following: Turkey is the actual queen on the Cyprus issue. Just like Ioannis Kasoulides has said, if Turkey wants, the problem could be solved easily. There is no need for the two leaders or the two communities to negotiate in vain and go as far as America to meet. Sit and decide what Turkey will win with a possible solution, suggest it […]. This is the situation.
I want to say to the Greek Cypriots: Expecting for help from the EU or the US or Israel is a baloney for Turkey in this situation, in which we are struggling to avoid suffocation”.
Referring to the same statements, columnist Mehmet Levent in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.09.18) reports that Turkey does not want a solution in Cyprus. Noting that he had never believed that Turkey really wanted a solution to the Cyprus problem “after misusing the rights, powers and responsibilities deriving from the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance of the Republic of Cyprus, occupying the northern part of the island and transferring to the island population ten times as much as the local people and strengthening this occupation with a civilian occupation”. “My belief that Turkey does not want a solution based on justice and equity in Cyprus was a hundred per cent. After these statements made by Tayyip, I am five thousand per cent certain”, notes the columnist.
Under the title “We should make our voice heard for the two seats in the European Parliament”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.09.18) carries an interview with Baris Onel, secretary of the foreign affairs of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), who explains the steps taken by the CTP youth Organization in Europe. Onel evaluates the Cyprus talks that may start soon underling the importance to take part in the European Parliament and to be there. He argues that there are two seats reserved for Turkish Cypriots in the European Parliament (EP), adding that it is important to take an active role in the EP. It is also important the Turkish Cypriots to be represented in the EP.
Noting that a new momentum has emerged and Cyprus talks may resume in the upcoming week, Oner noted that they should take an active role as a society and support it.
Referring to the seats reserved for the Turkish Cypriots, Onel argued that as CTP youth organization, they have been conducting foreign relations works for a long time. He added that in this context, they have remarkable events on the European stage. He explained that they have rights, which are not restricted there, such as to be full members and full members in organizations, adding that they use them all in an equal way. He further said that apart from these, they are member of the Young European Socialists (YES)and that they also received last year a full membership in the International Union of Socialist Youth, adding: “This was a huge happening. There had been obstacles on this issue from south Cyprus, but we could get the full membership”.
Onel said that he is the Coordinator of Democracy and Fighting Right Wing Extremism in the YES.
Noting that the European Parliament takes into consideration the decisions taken by the Young European Socialists Onel said that as a result, the EP implements some of the recommendations. He further argued: “At this point, while we can intervene effectively in the decisions of all people living in Europe as a youth organization, we are experiencing a big problem at the point of representing ourselves. Because the European Parliament is in reality a political mechanism that complies with the EU countries. (…) I think at this point, in the light of practical conditions, the Turkish Cypriots should try something new in order to improve the economy and work for the federal Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot community should do certain works in order to send representative especially to the European Parliament. This could be with cooperation or separately, with any political party from the south. If we choose separately, then we have trouble of not being recognized. Such problems restrict us at one point. We should remove these restrictions from our head; I think that we should bring into the agenda frequently these rights. Two seats are reserved for the Turkish Cypriots in the European Parliament. We should make our voice heard here; I think this is very important. We should demand these; we should take into consideration these. We should not restrict ourselves, we should know our rights, we should demand them and we should make our voice heard. There are many funds that we can benefit from, but various problems may arise, because we can only carry out lobbying activities on a representative basis. (…) Representation in the EP is very important. We must make use of our rights and make our own community heard. All rights of the Turkish Cypriots were de facto deleted. (…)We must make use of our rights and make our own community heard. All rights of the Turkish Cypriots were de facto deleted.” He further alleged that “in the southern part of Cyprus (he refers to the government controlled area of Cyprus), there is no written form in Turkish or a Turkish-speaking employee in any government office”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (19.09.18) reports that the “mayors” around the Famagusta Gate in the occupied part of Lefkosia are asking for the opening of the “Famagusta barricade”, suggesting that this will solve the problem occurred with the long lines of vehicles waiting at the Ayios Dometios barricade, as a result of the falling of the Turkish lira against foreign currencies.
The “mayors” of Yeni Cami and Caglayan stated to the paper that the opening of the “Famagusta barricade” will bring liveness in Lefkosia and will benefit the people. They also said that this point was opened before 1974 and was one of the basic entrances to Lefkosia.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-needs-to-deploy-more-troops-to-idlib-under-russia-deal-foreign-minister-cavusoglu-136973), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sept. 18 that Turkey will deploy more troops in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province following a deal signed by Ankara and Moscow which entails setting up a demilitarized zone in the country’s last rebel stronghold,.
“We will need troop reinforcements. Turkey and Russia will patrol the border areas. Civilians and moderates [opposition] will stay in the same areas where they are now,” Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi. “The borders of Idlib will be protected. Idlib’s status will be preserved. Russia will take necessary measures to prevent attacks against this region and to keep the regime from entering there,” he added. (…)
Cavusoglu argued that if the regime and Russia attack Idlib and destroy the position groups, there would be no interlocutor to discuss the political settlement in Syria. (…)
When asked where the radical groups eliminated from the province will go, the Minister said officials from Turkey and Russia who are on the ground will work on the issue. But in a separate meeting with journalists on Sept. 18, he said these groups will by no means be relocated to the regions taken under control by Turkey in the operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch in Syria’s north.
“We have cleared those regions from whom? From terrorist groups,” he stressed. Turkish and Russian intelligence and security officials will discuss the status of radical groups in Syria’s last major rebel bastion, Cavusoglu added. (…)
Meanwhile, under the tittle “Phone diplomacy: FM Çavuşoğlu discusses Turkey-Russia deal on Idlib with international counterparts”, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (19.09.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/09/18/phone-diplomacy-fm-cavusoglu-discusses-turkey-russia-deal-on-idlib-with-international-counterparts ) reports that Cavusoglu held a phone call with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo on Tuesday to inform him about the deal reached between Turkey and Russia on a military buffer zone in Syria's Idlib province and discuss its impacts as part of his latest diplomatic efforts on the matter.
After Pompeo, the Turkish Minister also held phone calls with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, according to diplomatic sources.
Cavusoglu had also talked over the phone with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani and Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdyldaev earlier in the day. (…)
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-intelligence-officers-detained-in-feto-investigation-136962) reports that more than a dozen non-commissioned officers of Turkey’s National Intelligence Service (MİT) have been detained in an investigation into FETÖ.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara announced on Sept. 18 that the 15 officers were on active duty at MİT’s signal intelligence department.
The officers were detained in Ankara and six other provinces.
The operation is based on testimonies of military personnel who were previously detained in a FETÖ investigation and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution. (…)
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